Tag Archives: life

Rule #4: Thou Shalt Embrace Change

Autumn at Lake Clara Meerphoto via fkehren

As the leaves on the trees start to change, it’s a good season to think about change in our own lives. My life has been one of twists and turns and almost zero consistency, so accepting change has never really been a problem in my own personal life. For me, it’s been adapt or fail at life. As a result, not many curveballs thrown my way catch me off guard, and resistance to surprise is a pretty good character trait to have. It will make you resilient, like the trees that shed their leaves in the fall but bounce back, full-force blooming in spring.

It drives me insane when people say, “Don’t ever change!” Really, really insane. A you’re-lucky-I-have-good-self-restraint-because-I-really-want-to-punch-you-in-the-face-right-now kind of insane. Life is change. Change is life. When you ask me not to change, you’re effectively asking me not to live.


Be The Change
photo via victius

There are two quotes I’ve held near and dear to my heart for a very long time. One is the quote above, and the other is a Buddhist saying: “Pain is inevitable. Suffering is optional. Compassion is necessary.” Change can definitely bring pain. But when it does, you have two options: mope; or go out and be the change. Embrace the change. To me, a fusion of the two quotes I love equals something like this:

“Change is inevitable, and sometimes painful. But when you accept both, you can move forward and you can begin to heal.”

That doesn’t mean we can’t question change. In fact, the book I Moved Your Cheese strongly suggests that we DO question change, as a sort of rebuttal to Who Moved My Cheese? (Both are very good, short reads, by the way. If you haven’t read them, it’s worth the 20-30 minutes it will take you to get through each one.) I agree with the idea we should question change. We don’t need to blindly move through life as the pawn of so-called “fate”. We can control our destiny. That doesn’t mean our path is obstacle free, but we do have the option of whether we’ll turn back around or figure out a way to get around that obstacle. The latter is more difficult, but it will move you toward your dreams.

My apologies for a shorter-than-normal post, but I’m being thrown a lot of curveballs at the moment and even though I rock at hitting every one of them out of the park, it’s still quite the workout.

Go forth and be okay with change.

xoxo,

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Rule #3: Thou Shalt Scorn Peer Pressure

As human beings, we ladies are a social bunch of creatures. We like doing things together. Eating, shopping, going to the movies, and getting ready for a night on the town – there are lots of things in life that we would rarely dream of doing alone. But sometimes, being social gets us in trouble. We do things in groups that we normally wouldn’t do by ourselves. Think about any movie or TV show that you’ve watched recently (even last night’s GOP debate) – nestled in the script there is undoubtedly drama that’s the result of peer pressure.

But hold on a minute. If you really stop to think about it – peer pressure isn’t always bad. When we surround ourselves with good, positive, well-meaning individuals, then as a collective we will surely make good, positive, well-meaning decisions. When we seek sobriety, we seek sober company. When we seek knowledge, we seek a teacher wise in their ways. In life we consistently turn to peers who claim to (and often do) know more than we do about what we seek. Still, sometimes the best intentions can be the most misguided, and can proffer the worst results for everyone. That’s why, as an EDF, you’ve got to know how to hold your own and how to stay grounded as an individual caught up in a sea of collective moments.

Resist peer pressure. All the cool kids are doing it

photo via busyprinting

If you’re familiar with Carl Jung, you’re familiar with the idea of a collective unconscious. According to Jung, the collective unconscious is an inherited set of thoughts that is identical in all human beings. While collectivity is something many argue we cannot and should not escape, the idea that we can share moments, ideas, memories, and even a collective unconscious does not negate the fact that individuals make individual choices about how they operate in the collective setting.

I have a friend who enjoys going out and having a good time with friends once or twice a month. She might have one drink too many, and the next day she doesn’t feel so well. We all make mistakes from time to time, and I never think her a worse person (or myself a better person) for having these hungover moments. But what drives me absolutely insane is that she never owns up to why she gets into these situations. She always blames it on others. “I had to drink – everyone else was drinking. Guys kept buying me drinks, and I couldn’t say no.”

Now, I don’t yell often. But I will yell this: YOU CAN ALWAYS SAY NO!!!!!

In case you skip over words in all caps, I shall re-emphasize: You can always say no!!! Always always always. There is never a moment in your life where you have to do something because someone asks you* to do it, or because you think everyone wants or expects you to do it, or because it’s “the only thing to do”. There are always at least two choices in every situation. Which path you choose is entirely an individual decision, and the intense collective moments are the moments where it is most important to keep this in mind.

If you do make a decision that you regret the next day, or the next week, the worst thing you could possibly do is say “I had to do it.” Honey, that’s just pathetic. Don’t let other people make decisions for you. And if you do, at least own up to the fact that it’s your own decision to let other people make decisions for you. You let them do it once, or maybe even three or four times, but luckily this is not a vicious circle. As soon as you take control of your own actions, life will be much more livable.

So, next time you find yourself in the middle of a group that’s about to do – or not do – something that you know is morally wrong, or you know you will regret, take a second to stop and think. You should be able to confidently answer these three questions at any crossroads:

  1. Why should I do this?
  2. Could this cause intentional or unintentional harm to anyone or anything (including myself)?
  3. Is this what I want to do right now, or is there a wiser way to spend my time?

Memo to yourself: you are in charge of you. Let this one thought guide all your decisions, and you’ll find yourself making much better choices.

xoxo,

* except maybe if you’re still living with your parents and they ask you to take out the garbage or clean the litter box

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